Recently I was sharing my experiences of living, working and travelling in Asia. Excitedly I spoke about the highs and lows of my two month Winter adventure; cultures witnessed, encounters experienced, and most importantly how both myself and my business had grown in a short time.

“Now it’s back to reality,” they reflected.

I paused for a moment, although I already knew the answer:

“No, this is my reality.” I replied.

In 2012 I made the big leap out of employment into the world of entrepreneurship. But I didn’t jump willingly. In fact, life had to give me a big, messy push from behind. Sending me on my way like a teenager leaving home and going out into the big wide world for the first time.

You see, I never wanted to run my own business. It wasn’t a dream I had for myself. Ever.

I was not one of the kids at school selling Garbage Pail Kid Stickers (if you don’t know, don’t ask!) for a micro fortune and investing in the biggest queenies, steelies and kingies money could buy. No, I was a bookworm. The quiet one in the corner who studied because I liked it, and, truth be told books were more straightforward than boys (some things remain the same!)

I always believed I would work flexibly (I’ve not had a place of work for over a decade), and freely (in that same period I’ve coached clients in twenty different countries). However I also believed I would always be the one bringing someone else’s vision to life. That I would be the loyal cheerleader for something I was passionate about – another person’s creation.

Without even realising it, I had shrunk my expectations of myself.

I didn’t know I needed to find courage, because I had never allowed myself to have the dream.  Click to Tweet.

Turns out life had other plans!

So on the day of my shaky realisation that life was expanding and I was going to run my own business, I turned to my faithful companion – books. I devoured Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley and was instantly inspired. I particularly liked his idea that the future belonged to “Global Small Businesses” – agile, flexible, small businesses who served their clients globally. For the first time a dream started to ignite inside – I could work flexibly and freely and bring my own vision to life.

That’s what I have been building ever since.

Today I am grateful to have a life where I can travel, live and work globally. A life that continues to expand the more courageous I am.

However, it’s important to say that on this journey I also learned the value of stepping back and letting go. To shed what no longer served me. To experience little deaths in order for rebirth and renewal to take place. I’ve experienced first hand the richness that comes from stepping into the emptiness of not knowing.

Stripping back who you thought you were, in order to become who you really are – that takes real courage.

It’s from this dance that The Pause was born, a retreat to help you slow down and hear what life is trying to tell you. It is wonderfully spiritual; yet anchored in reality.

What you start with isn’t necessarily what you will end with, but I promise it will be beautiful.

Danielle Marchant is an international board level executive coach, consultant and facilitator, with more than 10 years experience, working with leaders in 20 different countries. Learn more about the awesome work she’s doing at The Pause HERE.